Coursera has been operating for only a few months, but the company has already persuaded some of the world’s best-known universities to offer free courses through its online platform. Colleges that usually move at a glacial pace are rushing into deals with the upstart company. But what exactly have they signed up for? And if the courses are free, how will the company—and the universities involved—make money to sustain them? I obtained the agreement between Coursera and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the first public university to make such a deal, under a Freedom of Information Act request, and wrote this news analysis of what it reveals about the company’s plans to make revenue.
Bill Gates never finished college, but he is one of the single most powerful figures shaping higher education today. That influence comes through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, perhaps the world’s richest philanthropy, which he co-chairs and which has made education one of its key missions. I sat down with him to talk about his vision for how colleges can be transformed through technology. The interview was picked up by MSNBC’s Web site, The Huffington Post, Marketplace’s Mid-Day Update, and Slashdot, among others.
From his cell in a “supermax” prison in Colorado, The Unabomber has been writing what amount to sequels to his anti-tech manifesto. And a philosophy professor at University of Michigan at Dearborn has served as a sort of editor, encourager, and fan. I profiled the professor, David Skrbina, for this week’s cover story in The Chronicle Review. The piece has been featured in The Browser,Byliner,Hacker News, The Wall Street Journal’s Ideas Market blog and their AllThingsD Voices section.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University recently announced they’re teaming up to offer free online courses. A handful of other prestigious universities and star professors are doing the same …
My latest College 2.0 column breaks the story of an emerging-media professor who built a Facebook app that lets people declare ‘enemies’ (meant loosely). The tale is getting picked up all over — from MSNBC to The Times of India. Even Sarah Palin commented about it — In an appearance on the Today show, she was asked what she thought of the new Facebook enemy app.
The Chronicle of Higher Educationprofiled 12 of the top technology innovators in higher education. The goal is to highlight people doing the most exciting work around higher education and technology. Subjects represent many areas within academe (teaching, libraries, scholarship, online learning, etc.) and outside of it (companies and publishing). We spotlighted people who are thinking big about how technology can change education—and putting their ideas into practice. These are profiles, so the goal is to tell stories—what people are like, how they got to where they are, what impact they’ve made, why these issues matter to them.
The spread of a seemingly playful alternative to traditional diplomas, inspired by Boy Scout achievement patches and video-game power-ups, suggests that the standard certification system no longer works in today’s fast-changing job market. The spread of a seemingly playful alternative to traditional diplomas, inspired by Boy Scout achievement patches and video-game power-ups, suggests that the standard certification system no longer works in today’s fast-changing job market. (Full story at Chronicle of Higher Education | Picked up on Slashdot as well.)